Herpes Information

There are two types of HSV: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). The majority of oral herpes cases are caused by HSV-1 and the majority of genital herpes cases are caused by HSV-2; however, type-1 or type-2 can occur in either the genital or oral area.

If you suffer from cold sores, fever blisters around the mouth, nose or lips, HSV-1 is the main cause. If the sores and blisters are around the groin, legs or genitals, then this is most likely due to an infection with HSV-2.

Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions.  HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin.  Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can  result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection.  Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not be aware that he or she is infected.

After contracting the virus normally a week or more will pass before the symptoms become apparent. The first episode may include the following symptoms:

  • Small blisters near or on the genitals – The blisters erupt to form surface deep but painful ulcers. These sores form a scab and heal after one or two weeks.
  • Flu-like symptoms – General malaise, pain in the spine and legs. There may or may not be enlarged glands present in the groin.
  • A rash or redness in the genital area. This may be accompanied by pain and the inability to pass urine easily.
  • The skin may itch, tingle, and develop small cracks.

The first outbreak of herpes is often associated with a longer duration of herpetic lesions, increased viral shedding (making HSV transmission more likely) and systemic symptoms including fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, or headache.  Recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes are common, and many patients who recognize recurrences have prodromal symptoms, either localized genital pain, or tingling or shooting pains in the legs, hips or buttocks, which occur hours to days before the eruption of herpetic lesions.

It is possible for the herpes virus to cause infections in other parts of the body, including the brain, kidneys, liver, eyes and lungs.

Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons.  Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain).  Development of extragenital lesions (e.g. buttocks, groin, thigh, finger, or eye) may occur during the course of infection. 

When the herpes virus affects the brain, it causes what is known as Herpes Encephalitis. This serious condition affects around 2 million people. Symptoms of Herpes Encephalitis include a sore throat, vomiting and a fever that can even cause a coma or death if you do not seek treatment.

For pregnant women, an infection with HSV-1 and HSV-2 is particularly dangerous. The fetus and unborn child can suffer from eye disease and severe brain damage if they become infected with HSV whilst in the womb. It is also possible for the child to become infected with HSV during labour if the mother is suffering from an outbreak of HSV.


Articles

Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190316162211.htm
Frontiers “The stress of spaceflight gives viruses a holiday from immune surveillance, putting future deep-space missions in jeopardy”
Date: March 16, 2019
Source: ScienceDaily

Could there finally be a cure on the horizon for herpes sufferers
https://london-post.co.uk/could-there-finally-be-a-cure-on-the-horizon-for-herpes-sufferers/
“Breakthrough Discovery in the Battle Against the Herpes Simplex Virus”
Date: 18 March 2019
Source: London Post

Researchers have identified a defect in the immune system which causes some people to develop life threatening inflamation of the brain.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151020103708.htm
Aarhus University. “Cause of viral infection of the brain mapped out.”
Date: 20 October 2015
Source: ScienceDaily

In general the Herpes virus is considered to be species specific, however new Findings have shown that the virus can jump from the host animal to other species causing fatalities.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102083246.htm
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB).
“Herpes viruses with an unusual broad host range.”
Date: 2 November 2015
Source: ScienceDaily

Explanation of the neurological damage to the brain caused by the Herpes virus.
https://www.iflscience.com/brain/what-can-herpes-do-your-brain
June 12, 2015 | by Morenike Adebayo
What Does Herpes Do To Your Brain?

Synergy evaluation of anti-Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and 2 compounds acting on different steps of virus life cycle.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29357297
Targeting different steps of the herpes virus life cycle, including entry and cell-to-cell infection,
Date: Jan, 2018
Source: Science Direct

Autism risk linked to herpes infection during pregnancy.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170222131515.htm
Women actively infected with genital herpes during early pregnancy had twice the odds of giving birth to a child later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study.
Date: February 22, 2017
Source: Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Herpes virus linked to most common type of childhood cancer.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161215105933.htm
Newborns with congenital cytomegalovirus — a common virus in the herpes family — may have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia, according to new research. The study suggests the risk is even greater in Hispanic children.
Date: December 15, 2016
Source: American Society of Hematology

Man jailed for 14 months in UK for infecting his girlfriend with Genital Herpes.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2026598/David-Golding-gave-girlfriend-Cara-Scott-herpes-JAILED-14-months.html
By Andy Dolan for the Daily Mail
Updated: 2017

Woman says her twins were stillborn after she contracted herpes from Usher
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4909574/Woman-s-twins-stillborn-Usher-gave-herpes.html
By Kelly Mclaughlin & Chris Spargo for the Daily Mail
Updated: 2017

Could Alzheimer’s Be a Reaction to Infection?
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/could-alzheimers-be-a-reaction-to-infection/
“A relatively new and still controversial theory suggests the disease could be triggered by pathogens”
By Kenneth Shinozuka, Dhruva Gupta
Date: March 13, 2019
Source: Scientific American